Anekanta: The Third Eye: [04.01] Third Eye 1 - The Philosophical Journey: Travel Guide Of Anekanta

Published: 02.04.2007
Updated: 02.07.2015

An Acharya taught his disciple the lesson of anekanta and said, "Now travel into philosophy. Read all philosophies, read all the strong views, and all those philosophical arguments which seem untrue, make a list of them and bring them to me."

The disciple began his journey. He read all the philosophies. The journey was now over. He came to the Acharya. The Acharya asked, "Has your travel come to an end?"

The disciple said, "After completing it I have come to you.”

The Acharya said, “Now bring me your note. Tell me briefly about all the philosophies that you found to be untrue.”

The disciple replied, "Gurudev, my hands are empty."

"Did you not get paper?"

"I got paper, but it is still blank. I could not write on it."

"Did you not get a pen?”

"I got a pen, but it did not move."

"Why did it not have a nib?"

"It did have a nib, but it did not move."

"Did you not get ink?"

"I did get ink, but there was nothing to write."

"Did no philosophy seem untrue?”

"No, nothing seemed untrue and so I could not make a list."

"Disciple, now you may go. Your learning is complete. You have passed in brilliant colours."

An exactly similar situation I see in the incident where Acharya Atreya of Takshila University told his disciple, "Go to the forest in the outskirts of Takshila and get me those plants that cannot be used as medicine." The disciple went humbly to carry out the orders of the Acharya. He roamed around a lot. Finally he was totally fatigued. He came back empty handed and presented himself to the Acharya.

The Acharya asked, "Child! Have you not followed my orders?" The disciple answered, "Sir, from morning to night I have roamed about the forest. I have searched every nook and corner of it. But I could not find even one plant that did not have medicinal value." Pleased the teacher replied, "Child! You have learnt the science of healing and medicine. Your education is complete."

What was the reason for not finding even one plant that did not have medicinal value? What was the reason for not finding even one wrong opinion? Not even one philosophy that was invalid? Is this the work of some sort of magic? Is there no untruth or invalidity in this world? If there is no untruth in this world that means everything is the truth. And if this is not true then why are we not able to find untruth?

To the one who practices anekanta, no philosophy is untrue. Untrue philosophies are possible for only those who think uni-dimensionally. To those who have accepted the principle of anekanta there can be no untrue view. Then the question arises as to which is a comprehensive view and which is not. If a conventional man were to reply to this he would say, "My sastras or holy books are true and yours is untrue." But if the same discussion were to be considered from the perspective of anekanta or spirituality then the reply would be, "No sastra is holistic or untrue.”

To the man with right perceptions, all philosophies seem true and to the man with warped perceptions, every philosophy seems baseless or untrue. The truth or untruth of a sastra js dependent on our vision. When the eye of anekanta is opened then everything seems true, nothing is baseless. As long as we see with only the two physical eyes, things get divided into true and false. One person is loved and another not loved. One thing is acceptable and another, not. But when the third eye is opened then there are no likes or dislikes, there is only an entity. When the third eye is opened then nothing is destroyed or created, nothing is permanent or eternal, a third category is formed. This third eye is that of anekanta.

  • Anekanta: The Third Eye by Acharya Mahaprajna, © 2002
  • Translated by Sudhamahi Regunathan
  • Published by Jain Vishva Bharati Institute (Deemed University), Ladnun, Rajasthan, India

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharya
  2. Anekanta
  3. Gurudev
  4. Sastras
  5. Science
  6. Third Eye
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